Pick the lemons

Author: ME

Published at: 8/26/2016 10:47:05 AM




One in three homes can have problems – big problems – follow this simple step to spot the bricks and mortar lemons.


When you’re in the market for your first home it pays to remember that properties listed for sale are presented in their best possible light. But with some homes, beauty can be only skin deep.


Illegal building work, dodgy wiring and damp are just some of the problems that can make an otherwise attractive property considerably less appealing, and the problem of building faults is more widespread than you may think.


Industry figures show as many as one in three homes can have serious faults[1]. And if you end up with a bricks and mortar lemon, it’s going to leave more than a bitter taste behind. Major repairs can leave you financially skewered. But structural issues aren’t the only thing that can turn a home into a lemon.


Creepy crawlies can impact one in four homes


There’s a good chance you could end up sharing your first home with a few other residents. And we’re not talking about the in-laws.


It’s estimated that around one in four homes in Australia can be impacted by destructive pests like termites at some stage[2].  Along with the damage they cause, many pests like mice and rats also carry disease, making your home a less healthy place to live.


The solution


Happily there is a way to spot the lemon properties, and it doesn’t involve crawling under floorboards during Open Home inspections.


The answer lies in a pre-purchase pest and building inspection.


A pre-purchase pest/building report will identify all the problems impacting a property and the necessary work needed to bring the place up to scratch. A combined building and pest inspection will set you back around $500, and yes, it’s another upfront cost you need to budget for, but these inspections could save you from making a very big and expensive mistake.


What if my dream home gets a bad report?


Don’t expect a blemish-free scorecard – the perfect property doesn’t exist. At least you’ll be buying with your eyes open.


On the plus side, if the pest/building report dishes up a few issues, you have extra bargaining power when it comes to negotiating on price (the savings here alone could more than make up for the cost of the inspection). Just be sure you have the funds available to carry out any necessary repairs or pest removal work as needed.


Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply. Applications are subject to credit approval

[1] Archicentre media release: Rising Housing Prices Means Lemons Cost More http://www.archicentre.com.au/media-releases/614-rising-housing-prices-means-lemons-cost-more

[2] http://www.rentokil.com.au/top-10-house-pests/